Rainer Holz/Fuse/Getty Images
From wigs to riches
In 1993, Janite Lee, a South Korean immigrant, was running a wig shop in St. Louis when she won $18 million in the Illinois Lottery.
She went on a donation spree, giving money to political candidates and the Democratic National Committee, and snapping up a seat next to President Bill Clinton at a 1997 fundraising luncheon, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Lee also donated generously to Washington University, and its School of Law named a reading room after her.
But the annual, after-tax payments of $620,000 couldn't match her spending.
When she filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection in 2001, the extent of Lee's debts became clear. She had only about $700 but owed $2.5 million, according to Time.com. And, she had lost nearly $350,000 gambling at casinos during one year.